Are Walmart Skateboards Good?
With the popularity of riding a skateboard on the up and up, you’re probably wondering where the best place is to get your hands on one, or maybe you’re a seasoned skater looking to expand your collection. Either way, if you’re thinking of buying your next skateboard from Walmart, you’re likely not going to find anything of substantial enough quality.
Plainly put, Walmart doesn’t put the same amount of care and attention into making their boards, so you’ll be hard-pressed to find one that’ll last you throughout your skating journey. In this article, we’ll break down exactly why Walmart boards fall short, where you can find better options and more.
Walmart Boards vs. Skate Shop Boards
Walmart isn’t a specialty skate shop. Their main concern when it comes to the production of their boards is to make something easy, cheap, and accessible to buyers like you. Due to this basis, there’s a big sacrifice when it comes to the quality of their boards- that means you could potentially sacrifice your safety, learning process, and overall skating experience.
The main thing to keep in mind is that you get what you pay for. Though Walmart has a wide variety of boards to choose from (especially compared to the 90s and 2000s), a vast majority of them come in at around a $10-$25 price range. With the average beginner board from notable brands coming in at around $50-$100, you can’t expect much from Walmart’s quality.
So, if you’re looking to make a serious buy, and are searching for a skateboard that can last you from your first ride to your first hardflip, you’re gonna want to look at a specialty skate shop. Here, you can find complete sets, or if you’re looking for more custom personalization, you can even build your skateboard- down to the body, trucks, and wheels.
When you step into a skate shop, searching through the aisles for your next (or first!) board, there are a couple of common denominators when it comes to the features of a solid skateboard.
There are gonna be a handful of brands that the employees of the shop will recommend to you. Trust. These. Brands. Not only are they revered for the quality of their boards, but they’ve been in the business long enough to earn the trust of skaters worldwide. Some of our favorite brands include Birdhouse, Girl, Baker, Toy Machine, and Santa Cruz.
Secondly, you’ll be able to get a clear answer on what the body of your board is made of. Great boards are usually made out of Rock Maple, so that’s a material you’ll want to keep in mind.
All of the other accessories that make your board great: trucks, bearings, and grip tape (if you want additional friction) can be difficult to pick out as a beginner. At skate shops, you have the peace of mind that you’re surrounded by experts who can help you find the best options for your level of skill. At Walmart, you’re basically on your own.
The first thing you’ll notice when you get your hands on a Walmart board is that they’re probably super light, without a lot of give. This definitely isn’t something that you want out of an object you’ll be standing, grinding, and doing tricks with. Though these boards can withstand a true beginner’s skill set, don’t expect them to last past your first ollie.
Walmart doesn’t carry boards from trusted skateboarding brands. Unless it’s a special partnership, the skateboards you’ll find on the shelves come from brands with no qualifications or history supporting their quality and build. It’s better to save your money for something more worthwhile.
Boards from Walmart just aren’t built to last, and since you’re dropping your hard-earned money on a board you’ll love, picking one up from Walmart isn’t justifiable. Not only will they break on you after consistent use, but that low quality has a notable impact on your ability to learn. Don’t compromise your learning curve because of a poor choice in board!
Buying A Board From Walmart
However, some instances warrant buying a board from Walmart. The main instance is buying one for your child. If your kid wants to tackle skateboarding and is pestering you for their first board, it may be difficult to rationalize dropping $70+ on an object that could end up collecting dust in a week.
Or, you could be a serious beginner who’s just trying to test the waters out before making a big purchase.
Either way, we get it. So instead of buying the first board you lay our eyes on, we want to share our #1 pick for the best skateboard to get at Walmart– and that is the Braille Skateboard.
Why The Braille Skateboard Is Your Best Choice
Braille is a brand beloved in the skateboarding community. Their boards were designed by skaters, for skaters, so we can attest to their quality and longevity. Though their boards range from $109 to upwards, they were awesome enough to release boards that are bought exclusively at Walmart, and they only come in at around $50.
They’re clearly on the pricier end of boards that can be found at Walmart, but, as we mentioned earlier, you’re paying for what you get. Though the quality of the Walmart Braille skateboard isn’t comparable to their $100+ models, they’re still sturdy, ridable, and can last you for quite a bit longer than cheaper boards.
The body of these boards is standard for the beginner. It’s made of a 7-layer maple deck, which is a cheaper wood than most boards, but stronger than plastic (which is what a bulk of Walmart boards are made out of). On the top of the body, you’ll find some classic black grip tape that has a strong enough friction to keep you on the board while you learn.
As for the mechanics, the trucks are made of metal which is a plus, but they are quite tight. This is fine for beginners looking to cruise, but if you’re looking to learn some tricks, you’ll find your board doesn’t have that kind of flexibility. They can loosen with time, but we do recommend loosening them to your likeness.
Speaking of tricks, the kingpin on the tracks is low enough that they won’t catch when you grind. A lot of Walmart skateboard suppliers don’t think about this detail, especially because it’s something that non-skaters wouldn’t think to design, but luckily Braille has got our back.
The bearings on this board are fantastic for the price point. You’ll be able to go far with a single push, so you can worry more about your technique and less about being able to have enough velocity to keep going.
The skateboarding world is incredibly vast, and so is your choice of board. Though you can go to Walmart to expand (or start) your collection, there are better places to go with better quality skateboards to choose from. Despite that, you’re now well-versed in what your best option is when it comes to Walmart boards, so you’ll be covered no matter where you go.